Jim Johnson (baseball, born 1983)

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This article is about the baseball player. For other people named Jim Johnson, see Jim Johnson (disambiguation).
Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson.jpg
Johnson with the Baltimore Orioles
Oakland Athletics – No. 45
Relief pitcher
Born: (1983-06-27) June 27, 1983 (age 31)
Johnson City, New York
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
July 29, 2006 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
(through June 28, 2014)
Win–loss record 22–28
Earned run average 3.27
Strikeouts 291
Saves 124
Career highlights and awards

James Robert "Jim" Johnson (born June 27, 1983) is an American professional baseball relief pitcher for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball.

Early life[edit]

Johnson was born in Johnson City, New York. He was raised in Endicott, New York and graduated from Union Endicott High School in 2001.

Baseball career[edit]

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

The Baltimore Orioles drafted Johnson in the fifth round of the 2001 MLB Draft.

He made his major league debut in 2006, making one start towards the end of the season. He allowed 8 runs in 3 innings for the loss. In 2007, he only made one appearance.

He began the 2008 season in the Triple-A Norfolk Tides starting rotation, but was called up to the Orioles on April 12th. Pitching middle and late relief, he ran up 18 consecutive scoreless innings before giving up a 10th inning run to Oakland on May 5th.[1]

He became the interim closer when George Sherrill went on the disabled list on August 19, 2008.[2] Johnson finished the season with a 2.23 ERA in 54 games with 1 save.

Johnson was given the closer role on July 30, 2009 when Sherrill was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In the 2010 season he returned to a setup role. Late in the 2011 season, Johnson shared the closer role with Kevin Gregg.[citation needed] He finished with 10 saves but his ERA rose higher, finishing at 4.11 in 70 innings of relief.

Jim Johnson pitches during a game vs. the Washington Nationals in 2012.

On January 16, 2012, Johnson signed a one-year deal worth $2.625 million, avoiding arbitration.[3] He won the Delivery Man of the Month Award for May 2012.[4] On July 1, 2012, Johnson was one of three Orioles selected to play in the 2012 All Star Game.[5]

On September 21, 2012 Johnson set the Orioles' all-time single season save record at 46, passing Randy Myers. Johnson recorded his 50th save of the season on September 30 after a win over the Boston Red Sox. With the win, Baltimore clinched a post-season berth and Johnson became the 10th pitcher in MLB history to record 50 saves or more.[6] He finished the season with 51 saves. He won the AL Rolaids Relief Man Award.[7]

Johnson had a mediocre postseason debut through four games in the 2012 American League Division Series against the New York Yankees. Johnson struggled in game one of the series at Camden Yards, entering in the 9th inning of a 2–2 game and surrendered five runs (four earned) in only 13 of an inning. The Yankees won, 7–2.[8] He gained redemption in game two, pitching a perfect 9th inning to preserve a 3–2 advantage, striking out Alex Rodriguez on a 3–2 count to end the game. Johnson pitched again in game three in the Bronx and surrendered a game-tying home run to Raúl Ibañez with one out in the 9th inning. (Ibañez would also win the game on a homer in the 12th. off of Brian Matusz)[9] Johnson earned a successful save in game four, working a scoreless 13th inning.[10]

Oakland Athletics[edit]

On December 2, 2013, Johnson was traded to the Oakland Athletics for infielder Jemile Weeks and a player to be named later, identified as David Freitas on December 12. The deal was considered to be a salary dump on the Athletics since Johnson was projected to make 10.8 million in baseball arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors. His 2014 salary wound up being 10 million dollars. [11] Johnson's first season with the A's would begin poorly, as he earned a blown save and 2 losses in his first two appearances with the club. After 5 appearances in which he amounted an ERA of 18.90, Johnson was pulled from the closer role on April 11, in favor of fellow relievers Luke Gregerson and Sean Doolittle.

Pitching style[edit]

Johnson throws four pitches, leading with a hard sinker averaging 95 mph. His main off-speed pitch to right-handed hitters is a curveball averaging about 80 mph. Against lefties, Johnson adds an upper-80s changeup. Lastly, he throws an occasional four-seam fastball in the mid 90s.[12]


  1. ^ Topic Galleries. Baltimore Sun. Retrieved on 2012-04-09.
  2. ^ Orioles place LHP George Sherrill on 15-day disabled list | orioles.com: Official Info. Baltimore.orioles.mlb.com (2008-08-19). Retrieved on 2012-04-09.
  3. ^ Connolly, Dan (January 16, 2012). "Twitter". Baltimore Sun. 
  4. ^ Encina, Eduardo A. (June 3, 2012). "Orioles closer Jim Johnson named MLB Delivery Man of the Month for May". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Orioles trio tabbed for AL All-Star squad", Ghiroli, Brittany, Sunday, July 1, 2012.
  6. ^ Ghiroli, Brittany (30 September 2012). "Orioles clinch first postseason berth since 1997". MLB.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Rolads Relief Man Award". rolaidsreliefman.com. Archived from the original on Octobner 26, 2012. 
  8. ^ "MLB.com: Gameday". MLB.com. October 7, 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  9. ^ Brennan, Sean (October 11, 2012). "Raul Ibanez home runs in Yankees' win have Orioles in a state of shock after Game 3 collapse". Daily News. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  10. ^ Connolly, Dan (October 12, 2012). "Pedro Strop, Jim Johnson come up big for Baltimore Orioles". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  11. ^ http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-12-12/sports/bal-orioles-acquire-freitas-to-complete-jim-johnson-deal-20131212_1_jim-johnson-trade-baseball-america-catcher
  12. ^ "PITCHf/x Player Card: Jim Johnson". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 

External links[edit]